A reader's e-mail:
I am a seven handicapper with a long game of a much better player but what is holding me back is my putting. All my putts are off center, and are very often pulled. I am told this by playing mates and can also feel it in my hands. So could you recommend some drills which will see me constantly hit putts out of the middle of the clubface and stop pulling them?
Thanks for the e-mail, I have a great drill for your to try out, but first I want to explain how many of your problems can likely be solved by double checking your fundamentals. Pulling on the putting green is most commonly caused by one of two faults. The first is head movement throughout your putting stroke; this fault is common if your anxious to see the result of your putt or if you have fear of missing it. In your case, this fault seems to fit – if you’re looking up slightly to see if you made the putt, you’re forced to turn your shoulders to the left to do so, this could cause your pull. The second is poor alignment, double check your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are properly aligned (this drill will help). Commonly, players set up with closed shoulders and a square stance; from this position, it makes it very easy to pull the ball.
The drill to the right is very easy to set up and it helps correct any fundamental errors your putting stroke may have while also working on refining the motion ensuring more solid and consistent contact. Setup the drill on a putting green as shown, have the flagstick parallel to your target line and the three balls setup with just enough room between them to swing your putter. Next, setup as your normally would with your feet, now with your putter, hold it across your shoulders and look down at the flagstick – are they both parallel? If not, fix them, if so do the same check for your hips and knees – ensure each of these areas are parallel to your target line before continuing. Finally, once properly setup, set the putter up behind the middle and hit a putt. If your still pulling your putts, you’ll make contact with one of the outer balls. With practice you can get your stroke traveling on a more consistent path.
You can also set up two clubs on either side of the ball to help create a more consistent stroke, however, I think the feedback you get from the three balls is far more effective at improving your consistency.
I hope that helps!
The Golf Drill Guru